DIY: Forgiveness and Bitterness

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DIY studies are interactive Bible studies designed to help you build an engaging relationship with God. These studies will teach you to use various tools like podcasts and videos to engage with the Bible in a way that best fits your learning style. These studies were originally created for teens, but can be helpful for anyone. Click here for a printable version of this study.

This is a study on family forgiveness. The study looks at the story of Joseph and his relationship with his brothers.

History of Joseph

Joseph was 17 years old when his brothers sold him into slavery. You may take a look at this clip at the beginning of this study or as a follow up to understand more about Joseph’s life:

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DIY Listen:

If you think you would benefit from listening to the Bible and your Bible app does not have an audio feature, check out this audio Bible story of Joseph in the NKJV so you can read along.


Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers were worried.
They said, “Remember all the bad things we did to Joseph?
What if he decides to hold those things against us? What if he pays us back for them?”
16] So they sent a message to Joseph. They said, “Your father gave us directions before he died.
17] He said, ‘Here’s what you must say to Joseph. Tell him, “I’m asking you to forgive your brothers. Forgive the terrible things they did to you. Forgive them for treating you so badly.” ‘ Now then, please forgive our sins.
We serve the God of your father.” When their message came to Joseph, he wept.

18] Then his brothers came and threw themselves down in front of him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19] But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Do you think I’m God? [20] You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save many lives.
21] So then, don’t be afraid. I’ll provide for you and your children.” He calmed their fears. And he spoke in a kind way to them.

Genesis 50:15-21 NIrV


Joseph’s brothers came to him for forgiveness.
Joseph didn’t hold those things against his brothers or pay them back, he wept.
Joseph was able to forgive because he saw God‘s plan.


What are some of your hurt feelings?


Review or Reflect

How do you see God’s plan through forgiveness?


Go ask someone for forgiveness that you need forgiveness from.

How to Start Praying:

  • T.R.U.E. Prayer is an acronym that can help you start learning to pray.
  • T = Thanksgiving
  • R = Requests/Needs
  • U = Uncovering Sin
  • E = Emotions
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